VPR celebrates Vermont Reads with special series on poetry

News Release
May 2, 2013

Media Contact:
Michelle Jeffery
Coordinator of Marketing & Communications
Vermont Public Radio
802.654.4311
[email protected]

Series exploring Billy Collins’ “Poetry 180” airs May 6-9 during Morning Edition

Colchester, Vt. — Vermont Public Radio will explore the book Poetry 180: A Turning Back To Poetry by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins in a a special series during Morning Edition May 6-9. The project is in collaboration with the Vermont Humanities Council’s state-wide reading program, Vermont Reads.

The former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins wrote that high school is “all too often the place where poetry goes to die.” He set out on a mission to collect short, clear, contemporary poems, with the idea that teachers could read one per day, for the 180 day school year, and allow students to simply hear and absorb the poetry, with no discussion, explication or quizzes.

This year, schools and communities around Vermont are reading the anthology that resulted from that effort, called Poetry 180: A Turning Back To Poetry. The Vermont Humanities Council is collaborating with libraries and other non-profit organizations across the state to present activities and events related to Poetry 180 for children and adults.

Morning Edition Host Mitch Wertlieb and VPR News reporters will take a look at how poetry helps young children learn to read, and speak with Billy Collins. Listeners will also hear from Vermont poets Sydney Lea, Jody Gladding, Major Jackson and Galway Kinnell.

Vermont Edition, VPR’s daily news magazine program, will take up the discussion on May 7 at noon and 7 p.m. with a conversation about why poetry seems to resonate with teenagers, but often gets overlooked by adults.

We are thrilled to continue our long-time partnership with the Vermont Humanities Council and Vermont Reads,” said John Van Hoesen, senior vice president and chief content officer. “VPR’s series on Poetry 180 creates a special opportunity for Vermonters to come together and discover poetry.”

Listeners can follow the series and share their own thoughts about poetry at VPR.net.

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